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Door locks on Spark

Base model Chevy Spark 2017 door locks do not unlock when inside handle is pulled. This lock feature has been incorporated in nearly every brand and model since the late fifties, I think. Was there ever a goverment mandate for this? I can find all kinds of info on the internet that SAE has about testing door locks and hinges and specs about how many G’s the doors must withstand without opening, NHSF and NTSB specs on impact but nothing, so far, about this feature. E-mails to Chevrolet Customer Support have been answered promptly but do not seem to respond to the question as to why this car does not have such a feature. Do any of you know of a government regulation requiring this automatic mechanical unlock?

Are you asking if you open drivers door should all the other doors unlock? I think you are confusing the auto unlock some vehicles have when you put the gear selector in park. Our Nissan Frontier unlocks both doors when placed in park but our Volvo does not. I have no idea what unlocking feature you are talking about.

No. What I am saying is a locked door should open when the inside handle is pulled. The locking pin or lever should go to the unlocked position at the same time. This minimizes the panic a person has when they are trying to exit, say, a burning car. This modern car and older cars required the occupant to pull the pin up or turn the lever to the unlocked position BEFORE pulling the latch handle.

You really are not making yourself understood. Now I do know that some vehicles when all doors are locked that they require two pulls on the door handle . Maybe you should return to the dealer with the vehicle and a list of questions.

Some manufacturers have had an automatic unlock feature on the front doors for the last 30 years but I don’t believe General Motors vehicles have this. There is a mechanical link in the front door latches that unlocks the door when the inside release handle is pulled on vehicle with or without power door locks.

I find it annoying when I must search for the door lock switch to unlock the drivers door to exit the vehicle.

This car is like a 1941 Ford 4-door sedan only smaller. Each door has an inside handle and an outside handle to open that door. Each door has a vertical pin that locks the door so it may not open by neither the inside nor outside handle. Each door is locked by pushing the pin down. Each door is unlocked by either a key on the outside or pulling the pin up from the inside.

I am saying that on this basic car, each door should unlock FROM THE INSIDE by simply pulling the normal opening handle, lever, whatever ONCE to get out. It does NOT DO THIS. You have to unlock the door by pulling the pin up BEFORE you can pull the handle to get out. That is TWO operations that must be done IN SEQUENCE to exit. Not a problem UNLESS THE CAR IS ON FIRE! OR SINKING! OR GETTING READY TO FALL OFF THE CLIFF!


Have you looked for a “child lock” button on the door panel?
Federal regulations have required for years now that the driver be able to disable the passenger door locks, in order to prevent children from opening doors and falling out while the vehicle is in operation.

Nevada is on to something! I tried several GM cars in the church parking lot this morning and every one from late 90s to 2015 would unlock by pulling the inside handle. Child lock switches on rear doors only, TSM. Not gonna worry about that until I find if this has been solved.


Neither of my vehicles will unlock from the inside just by pulling on the handle, if the door’s push button has been pressed and is locked. Both have manually operated door locks. If the door is locked and you want to open it from the inside you have to unlock it first by pulling up on the button.

early 90’s corolla, early 70’s ford truck

I thinks that’s the case anyway, don’t have the opportunity to do that most of the time, but will check both vehicles and report back if its not next week.

Do any of you know if there is a government regulation about door locks?


My own vehicles have all unlocked by pulling the inside handle.

There are regulations pursuant to door locks, but I don’t know what they are. If I can find a link to them, I’ll post the info.

If there were then there wouldn’t be so many cars that require you to unlock the door before opening it. This is simply a matter of convenience, not safety as you describe.

I have 4 cars.

Two will open the front doors with the first pull of the handle. The rear doors need to be unlocked before opening.

One will open the front doors by pulling the handle twice, once to unlock and once to open. The rear doors need to be unlocked before opening.

One will not open the doors unless the separate operation of unlocking it is done first.

I drive probably 6 to 10 customer’s cars during a work day. The condition you describe in your car is not at all unusual, I would say it’s common.

I would appreciate that, TSM. I have struck out!


My 2010 Insight doors cannot be unlocked by using the inside door handles.

What is an Insight? Who makes it?


Honda…it’s my avatar.

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This should get you started.

NPRM means Notice of Proposed Rule Making. Hoping not to insult your intelligence nor your contribution, I point out this acronym meaning only in case you were unfamiliar and may be useful to anyone reading this thread. I did not find in here any language regarding the specific operation of the mechanical door locks. The thrust of the whole proposal was to prevent people from being ejectedduring a crash. Any design philosophy seems to be at the discretion of the manufacturer which is as it should be, ideally. It seems that I have no valid basis for getting cranky because our new runabout has door mechanisms from the past.

Thank you for your link. I wonder if has become statutory law yet.


Hopefully it can serve as a place to start, a portal into the federal regulatory system that includes door lock regulations. That’s all that was intended.

As you know, the system of federal regulations is a web of interconnected documents and details. The answers are rarely clear without doing research. I’m happy to offer the portal, but would hope the inquisitor would do the research.

The ball is definitely in my court! Thanks!